Hibiscus surattensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Hibiscus surattensis L.

Family: Malvaceae

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: jukut riyut, gamet (West Java), lara gurut (Java)
  • Malaysia: asam susur
  • Philippines: sabnit (Tagalog), barbarinit (Ilocano), labneg (Bisaya)
  • Laos: sômz faayz
  • Thailand: chamot, somkop (central), somkengkheng-pa (northern)
  • Vietnam: bụp xước, rau chua gai.


Widespread in the Old World tropics, including South-East Asia, but not in New Guinea.


The acid leaves and fruits are cooked and often eaten with fish. It is sometimes grown for its stem fibres.


  • An erect or trailing herb or undershrub, up to 2 m tall, often rooting at the nodes, with spiny stem, petioles, pedicels and nerves.
  • Leaf-blade orbicular to transversally elliptical in outline, 4.5-10 cm × 5-14.5 cm, 3-5-palmatilobed or divided, often somewhat hairy; petiole 4-11 cm long with broad leafy stipules.
  • Flowers yellow with dark purple centre.
  • Fruit an ovoid to globose capsule, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, appressed hispid by stiff hairs, enclosed by the calyx.

In young secondary vegetation and teak forests, and occasionally in waste places near villages, up to 1200 m altitude.

Selected sources

13, 44, 89.